Why go to Southampton?
Excellent Titanic Museum; historic center; minutes from beautiful countryside and Isle of Wight
Southampton was bombed heavily in WWII and much of the city is blighted by ugly architecture
If you have just one day in the U.K. you are best off getting a train to London for the day rather than staying here
Southampton Cruise Port Facilities?
There is no reason to hang around the port area, and you can either walk (10 minutes) or jump in a cab (there are ranks outside each terminal) to the city center.
Good to Know?
If you come from the U.S. and land here for the first time, please remember that people drive on the left-hand side of the road in the U.K. When crossing the streets, it is always best to look both ways. Drivers have the right of way, and they take it unless you cross at a lined or "zebra" crossing.
In Southampton: AutoEurope (800-223-5555) is a good first call. It represents a range of car rental agencies such as Avis and Hertz (and often offers better rates than the individual agencies). Hertz has a rental agency on West Quay Road and Southampton Central Station.
Between Southampton and London by train: Go to Southampton Central Station for Southwest Trains to London. You have the option of four departures an hour (some are direct to London; check timetables) with journey times of 70 to 90 minutes. To check schedules, visit Southwest Trains or National Rail Enquiries online. You can also call 0871 200-4950 for train timetable information. Fares are cheapest for departures after 10:00 a.m., so ask for a "cheap day single" (if you're not planning on coming back) or "day return" if you're planning on returning to the ship.
By bus: National Express coaches operate between Southampton's bus station and London's Victoria Coach Station, as well as between Southampton and the Central Bus Station at Heathrow Airport. Allow about 2.5 hours.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The local currency is the British Pound; for current currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. You will find ATMs at many bank branches. Banks usually take a commission from exchanging currency, while some travel agents and exchange offices advertise commission-free exchange. Check the rates as they can vary) Credit cards are widely accepted, but please note that many taxis do not take them.
This is England, so English, of course! But you'll hear many different accents by both native speakers and immigrants.
Where You're Docked?
Southampton has four widely separated cruise terminals. Two -- Ocean Terminal and QEII Terminal, accessible via gate 4 -- are located at the Eastern Docks, while the others -- Mayflower Terminal and City Terminal, accessible via gates 8, 10 or 20 -- can be found at the Western Docks. Both are about a five-minute taxi ride from the Southampton Central railway station, which is close to the city center.